Tropico 4 Eva Peron

The following post will detail a sandbox game (not tied to a specific set of campaign progression goals) utilizing the stock Tropico 4 game. The decision is being made up front to forgo the Modern Times DLC, as it in my opinion makes some undesirable changes to the game (most regrettably various facilities are made obsolete and there is a texturing issue with some of the new buildings that make the game look ugly). That DLC does have its positives however, such as some rather useful edicts like Health Care Reform and my favorite (so far) Police State.

While I have put in some hours on this game I do not purport to be an expert at this or the construction/political simulation genre in general. My build order preference is unique to my experience and what I detail below certainly may not be the best suggestion or optimal approach. One of the great things about this game is the ability to learn and evolve through trial and error, all along the way making both “happy accidents” as well as bone-crushing errors that drive you batty (I could not tell you how many miles of roads I have demolished.

There are several game play choices I will make before the mission starts that will affect what challenges I will face and what elements of the game will be made available to me.


For this effort I am selecting an island that I have not played before in sandbox mode, Isla de Extrano Amor which is classified as a hard difficulty.


The six game setting sliders are left at their default location; however I modify some of the toggles such as specifying a random Prominent Faction, forced Free Elections, a Faraway Place and Rebel Yell. I chose to ignore Immigrants Out as I feel that it is too over the top to hire just foreign experts throughout a 50 year rule. As noted at the outset of this post, this game will be played with the Modern Times DLC disabled. The combined sum of these selections creates a difficulty rating of 174%.


My avatar selection is Eva Peron, who has three character traits which affect the game. As I am working to secure all game achievements on Steam, one of those is to have all avatars at level 5 and I only need to complete one more mission to max her ratings out. These stars increase positive attributes and decrease negative ones (these are too numerous to go into here).

One thing I really like about this game is that while there are only a few female avatars available as it is dominated by men (such as Fidel Castro), the developer went the extra mile in providing a complete range of professional voice dialogs for every conceivable game interaction done in a female voice.

The Beginning: 1950-1959


This is what the game provides me from the outset and what I have to work with to cultivate my future empire: 

Natural Resources

Iron – 1 deposit with a remaining quantity of 15,000
Bauxite – 1 deposit with a remaining quantity of 12,000
Gold – 2 deposits with a remaining quantity of 12,000
Oil – 3 deposits with a remaining quantity of 11,970

These stats lead me to focus on Gold first as the Export Price is 5,280 and the building only requires uneducated miners to work there. Bauxite is 2,816 and Iron is 2,288, while Oil is 6,160 (but requires college educated females to run either a well or a refinery).

Food Crops

There are two Corn Farms provided which should be sufficient to feed the 60 people initially on the island. As the population swells, I will need to provide additional food sources.

Cash Crops

Although there are no existing farms or plantations at the start of this game, the review of the soil conditions reveal the following:

Tobacco – Average farm productivity 100%/soil quality 80%
Coffee – Average farm productivity 98%/soil quality 59%
Sugar – Average farm productivity 22%/soil quality 42%

These statistics lead me to focus on Tobacco Crops first, then Coffee Crops while Sugar Crops will be mostly ignored due to their weak representation on this map. Although Tobacco seems to lead the day, it is actually not covering the entire island as Coffee is, being mostly located on an elevated shelf.

Almanac


This part of the game is critical to success or failure as information here can provide early warning to dire situations developing. Throughout this post I will display various parts of this panel as it relates to challenges and opportunities that present themselves.

While Criminals suck the blood out of the economy, they are not a game-ender (at least not what I have seen yet). Rebels can attack key infrastructure, and if they defeat the soldiers at the Presidency building it is game over. Threats from the US or USSR can end the game also if it is poorly mismanaged and either Superpower decided to invade.

That being said there are some key indicators that I usually keep an eye on over time to gauge what is going on in the big picture (not all are visible on the panel I have selected above):

Number of Citizens – 60
Overall Happiness – 50%
Unemployed – 2
Free Job Positions – 0
Open Housing Family Slots – 0
Homeless – 16
Crime Safety Rating – 49%

Homeless Tropicans live in shacks which charge no rent to contribute to the economy, and those shacks directly increase criminal behavior and impact the Crime Safety Rating. While I can issue the Free Housing Edict to mitigate this effect, I have progressed in my approach to this game to the point where I feel this is a band aid or a crutch (even though it can be toggled off and on). I prefer the challenge to create a vibrant economy from scratch.

And last, but by no means least is the Budget which is currently at $23,000: nothing can be done on Tropico without available budget funds. While the so-called World Bank will cover a deficit of up to $10,000, once that is reached all activity stops save for ingrained expenses (salaries, upkeep, etc.)

Build Order
  1. I set the dock to a Max/Imports Ship to zero as I do not want imports chipping away at my fragile economy and meager budget during the first few years.
  2. Two Gold Mines on top of the deposits and a road network to attach both mines to the existing roads in town which leads to the Dock (these are priority builds).
  3. Pub, Restaurant and a Clinic in the center of town along the main road.
  4. Church and a Marketplace in the center of town next to the existing Garage (in an effort to maximize availability to the citizens).
  5. High School
  6. Ministry
I am resisting the urge to create any new housing even if the game is suggesting it as I want to wait until I can secure a Foreign Affairs USSR Development Aid Edict for $2,000 which provides a 50% discount for Tenements and Apartments. This edict requires a Minister of Foreign Affairs which can only be hired once a Ministry building is started (it does not have to be completed).

This initial build takes my budget from $23,000 to ($9,140): this is deficit spending with the risk of foreign invasion should I not turn a quick profit.

The first freighter docks and offloads two immigrants while taking $13,200 in exported goods. This cash infusion triggers me to hire a foreign expert for $2,700 to fill the vacant Minister of Foreign Affairs position, and I order a new Construction Office (set to high priority) to help speed up the completion of my various builds. 

My foreign relations with the USSR is presently at 80% and hopefully by the time the new hire arrives they will still be favorable and I will have wiggle room for the $2,000 cost of the Foreign Affairs USSR Development Aid Edict so that I can then build some cheap housing.


The year ends and there are several areas which shape the happiness of the population that I can work on, several of which will be addressed to some degree as my initial build orders are completed and the facilities properly staffed.

1951


I receive a total of $11,250 in Financial Aid from the US and USSR, however one of the negative attributes of my El Presidente avatar Eva Peron is her gambling habit which costs me $1,165 and takes my budget to $5,925.

The second freighter docks and offloads five new immigrants while taking $13,386 in exported goods increasing my Budget balance to $16,673. Although I set the priority for the Ministry building to high, I did it too late and missed having the foreign expert arrive on this second boat.

Even with the second Construction Office there are several builds outstanding at this point that need to be completed.


The year ends and the data show the balance sheet account with the income ahead of the expenses. Those 32 homeless people are living in shacks and will need to be dealt with so as to prevent a crime problem from spiraling out of control.

1952


Just before the end of 1951 the third freighter docked and was in the process of taking on the exports by the time the month ended. It brought seven new immigrants, as well as the foreign expert I hired. I immediately issued the Foreign Affairs USSR Development Aid Edict to get the 50% discount for Tenements and Apartments and ordered two new Tenements to be built as well as a new Construction Office (high priority as the two Cattle Ranches have not been completed yet).

I also ordered an Immigration Office to be built next to the docks (it helps me find it quickly when there are a lot of buildings on a map) and set it to the Skilled Workers mode to attract some High School and College educated immigrants.

These actions take my budget to $27,333 at the time of the screen capture (there still could be some export to account for on the freighter at the dock).


In February 1952 General Rodriguez issues the first Rebel Threat notification that causes some concern as the overall happiness rating is at 43% and still has some downward tracking available before it gets really bad out there in the jungles.


A quick check of the Almanac reveals that although there is only one Rebel, I only have two Soldiers. Each game begins with four Soldiers stationed at the Presidency building, so for some reason over the course of the first two years I lost half of my army. I immediately order two foreign experts from abroad as I currently have no available High School educated citizens filling these posts.


Right at the end of the second year and going into the third I receive the first Crime Safety notification from Antonio Lopez (for anyone reading this that is not well-versed in Tropico, he along with General Rodriguez, Penultimo and Sunny Flowers (as well as several others) are advisors that exist within the game world and are not actual Ministers or other citizens that you can interact with (other than passively by considering their advice).

A quick check of the Almanac reveals that the Capitalist Faction is at an abysmal 30% due to Low Crime Safety in the Major Demands category.

1953


Viewing the island through the People overlay, the bright yellow (to orange in some areas) is the crime problem which is mostly caused by the mere presence of the shacks. Demolishing those shacks will instantly improve the crime situation but not resolve the underlying issue – homelessness. While a Police Station will be built, the real response is to produce enough housing units in the correct locations and to have as close to full employment as possible.

Now that I have enough cash on hand at $44,258, I can start preparations for advancing out of this Stone Age. I hire foreign experts to fill the vacant Minister of Economy and Education positions, and hire a high school worker to fill a slot at the Church. These expenses take my budget down to $37,258.


When scrolling through the Almanac, I noticed that the Threat Level was at Medium. On examination of the problem it indicated that I had three Soldiers to combat two Rebels. At this point I hired another Soldier from abroad (requires a High School education) and constructed a Bunker at the Presidency. These buildings can employ up to six Soldiers and are not restricted by the amount of Generals that are employed like the Guard Tower is. This takes my budget down to $30,458.

During the year Lopez notifies me that the workforce is not sufficient and to set my Immigration Office to “Open Doors” (which upsets the Nationalist Faction). When checking my three Construction Offices I found out that they are only half staffed, so I comply with the hint from the game adviser in this instance.


As soon as the next freighter docks I immediately go to work with the new Ministers (before they die of starvation which may occur early game on some higher difficulty settings). Through the Economy Edicts I issue the Building Permit which while seemingly hurting me by increasing all construction costs by 20%, actually funnels 10% of the money spent to my Swiss Bank Account, a critical component of playing missions if I hope to achieve a respectable score.

Through the Education Edict I build an Academy of Science and set the Work Mode to Research Grants which over times lowers the cost of the blueprints up to 50%.


My trusted and hapless adviser Penultimo (a member of the Loyalist Faction) informs me of a petition to build a Childhood Museum, one of the Entertainment series of buildings. When checking the Almanac I see where my “loyalists” are at an abysmal 10% because I have not yet built a museum or other megalomaniacal shrine unto myself.

Given that these “supporters” are the Prominent Faction on this chunk of dirt in the middle of the ocean, I best take their Major Demands into some serious consideration (or not).

1954


Elsewhere some intrepid Trop set their Tenement building on fire. My avatars gambling habit and foreign aid from the US and USSR roll together to increase my Budget to $27,968.

During the year Comrade Vasquez offers an objective to gain respect with the Communist Faction by building two new Apartments: this is in line with my intentions anyway so I accept.

With all of my College educated citizens filling posts, I hired a foreign expert to fill one of the open vacancies at the Academy of Science, but before the freighter could dock some Tropican that I was unaware of filled one slot, so I now had it staffed to two eggheads which gave me a 31% break on the cost of blueprints.

I set out to begin my industrial base by purchasing the designs and construction for a Jewelry Factory which I set at high priority. The blueprints costs were still steep at $5,520 and the building itself cost $15,600: this took my Budget down to $17,138. I also started construction on two Tobacco Plantations to take advantage of the high quality soil for that commodity, and this additional expense dropped my available cash down to $9,938.


The construction portion of the player expenses is elevated due to the factory and plantation orders. The Open Doors policy is having a minor effect on the filing of the Free Job Positions (25), but there are other factors that go into that (such as the requisite education required to fill some vacancies).

1955


My first speech at the Presidency: “We will complete the five year plan in four years!” Wait, this is year five…


In May I construct my first Wind Turbine which costs $2,760 for the blueprint and $7,200 for the actual unit, however these structures provide power (and sharing/linking capabilities) at zero environmental impact (and they do not require any personnel to operate).


In order to fulfill the objective accepted earlier from Comrade Vasquez, I order the construction of two Apartment Blocks at $1,380 for the blueprints and $3,500 for each structure. I place them at the High School using their footprint to crush the multitude of shacks formed there and thus reduce overall crime.


During the year I receive two separate environmental warning from Sunny Flowers and these are reflected in the poor standing that I now have with the Environmentalist Faction.

1956


Around the same time I switch the Immigration Office to the Skilled Workers mode and upgrade the Jewelry Factory by purchasing the Jewelers Guild buff for $5,000 and the Finishing Shop modification for $16,000 and 10MW of electricity. These expenditures take me into the negative on the Budget; however the annual foreign aid saves the day and returns me to a positive balance.


In May I receive notification from General Rodriguez that there is a Coup Threat which is somewhat to be expected early game with the overall happiness rating in the low 40’s.

With 42 homeless people on the island, I examine the shacks to determine who is living in them and what their economic position is (employed or not). There are a number of shacks near the two Construction Offices along the main road leading to the Dock that house both employed and unemployed citizens.

The unemployed obviously earn zero income and cannot afford to live anywhere, however some of the shack residents are construction workers who have set up their living quarters next to their place of employment because the nearest available housing that they can afford is too far away for the avatar to travel to. There are a number of strategies to address this problem, however I take the most obvious approach and that is to build housing near concentrations of people.

In Tropico a citizen will move into a nearby available housing slot as long as their wages are at least three times the rent, so a construction worker earning $5 could move into a Tenement that charges $1 but not an Apartment Block that charges $3. Another consideration is Housing Quality which is one of the several factors that determine the overall happiness rating.

The ratty run down Tenement has a quality of 35 which can be improved with the Climate Control upgrade (once connected to the electrical grid) which increases the structure quality by 15. The slightly more expensive but much nicer Apartment Block starts around 59 and can also be bumped up by 15 with the addition of the air conditioning upgrade.


In order to apply a quick fix to the homeless issue, I order the construction of two Tenement buildings next to the Construction Offices. These new expenditures take my available Budget to $23,332.


To address the concerns of the Military Faction, I order the construction of an Army Base right next to the Presidency as the only Soldiers that I currently have are stationed there and in the Bunker adjacent to it. The base costs $4,080 for the blueprint (the Academy of Science is reducing the cost by 32%) and the structure itself costs $9,600, which takes my Budget down to $6,792.

The base construction is set to high priority.


In October I receive notification from General Rodriguez that there is a Rebel Attack taking place at the Jewelry Factory and the initial force composition is 11 Soldiers facing three Rebels. This attack continues on through the end of the year, and at that ratio the Army should wipe the floor with these punks.

In December Comrade Vasquez issues the first Healthcare Demand hint advising the construction of a Clinic or a Hospital.

The Almanac panel reveals some interesting information in that the threat I face from the Rebels is actually lower than the threat I face from my own Army.

1957


The game forces positions to be taken at various times on events external to my Empire however my choice does have an effect on the standing with those foreign powers and that standing does have a direct impact on my island economy. In this case I am not exporting any oil at the moment which is the chief effect of the Middle East, whereas anything I do with the Soviets has an impact on the amount of Foreign Aid they issue annually.

With an unguided Army threatening a coup (even though I built them a base which provides healthcare and free housing), I hire a foreign expert at $3,900 to be a General (requires a College level education) and oversee the unruly troops. At the same time I order the construction of a College at $14,400 so that my High School graduates can achieve a higher education level and be able to fill various employment slots requiring that level of instruction.


UN representative Brunhilde Van Hoof notifies me of mandatory elections in one year and I am provided the opportunity to issue a speech to possibly sway voters on the margins of making a firm decision.


The Almanac reveals the discontent of the population with many ratings below 40%; however I can only address three specific areas in the speech. With the Environmentalists Faction at 35% (not pictured here but on another tab), the Loyalists Faction at 10% and all other factions at 50% or above my speech will focus on the environment and my own rule.


When reviewing the Loyalists Faction List, there were six citizens listed as Die Hard Supporters. Of those six two were voting for me, one was my opponent in the upcoming election and the other three were voting for him!!

I get no respect.

During the year the Clinic becomes vacant so I ordered a foreign expert to fill a physician position at a cost of $4,200. In February the Army defeats the Rebel attack at the Jewelry Factory. In April I accept an objective from the Middle East to export 500 units of smoked beef for a payback of $5,000, 15 respect increase and a camel. I accept and set both Cattle Ranches to the Smoke House upgrade at a cost of $2,000 per ranch. This will pay for itself long after satisfying this objective is long gone.

Little did I know at the time how difficult achieving this standard objective would prove to be.


In June I order the construction of a Garbage Dump in the wooded area between the town center and the Tobacco Plantations in order to placate the Environmentalist Faction somewhat. As soon as the election is over I am building more factories.


In July I receive an objective from Penultimo to upgrade the palace (the Presidency building) which is key at this point because doing so will improve the Loyalist Faction respect which is currently at 30% and the Sentry Box upgrade part of it alone (at a cost of $7,000) may help smooth things over with the Soldiers by increasing the Job Quality at the Presidency by 20.

The Garbage Dump is completed in August and the work mode is set to Recycling which increases upkeep but also increase the respect of the Environmentalist Faction. I also select the High Temperature Burner modification for $2,000.


This wraps up the busiest year in this particular game so far and while I am facing a far greater threat of a coup from my own Army than an attack on infrastructure from the Rebels, I believe there is some positive movement going on here as I have a landslide victory coming in the election (with no interference on my part as El Presidente).


Booyah!

To celebrate my victory I immediately order the National Day edict to forevermore mark this occasion (if I chose to extend play past the 50 year reign).

1958


With the fireworks from National Day still going off in the background, I begin construction of a second Jewelry Factory and set the Dock to begin importing $5,000 maximum per freighter so that I can monitor imports for deficiencies in my industrial cycle (such as when I run out of Gold I can begin importing it) and the island food chain.

With a second factory if the Environmentalist Faction gets upset enough to blockade one structure, the other will still be operational.


In order to purchase the Finishing Shop upgrade for the second Jewelry Factory I have to increase my power supply, which is currently 11MW from the one Wind Turbine. I construct a second structure out on the remote stretches of the island where there is significant enough elevation to achieve the maximum 40MW possible for a single Wind Turbine. The available wattage is pooled into a common availability and I do not need to create Electric Substations to link my new wind farm back to the Dock area.

Also during the year I order the construction of a Grade School (set to the Spelling Bee work mode), a road network out to the new wind farm, a new Apartment Block by the education center, quick build multiple Bunkhouses next to the mines, plantations and farms, add the Jeweler’s Guild upgrade to the second Jewelry Factory, hire a second General at the Army Base and construct a new Bunker on the opposite side of the Presidency. These new expenditures drop my Budget down to $37,111 as of July.

Near the end of the year I accepted a new objective to build an Oil Refinery which fits in with overall strategy to deplete this rock of all available resources. Once the 11,970 quantity of oil is harvested by the refinery and Oil Wells for the land deposits, the refinery will be switched to allow for importation of crude product.


As the year ends the Almanac reveals the ratings of the various factions and given that the Loyalists are the Prominent Faction on the island, I need to begin addressing their demands (at first a Childhood Museum and then later a Mausoleum once I have enough in the Budget).

1959


The construction workers finally finished the Wind Turbine out in the remote sticks of the island, and even though I constructed a road network out there most of them had already started the walk to the site and simply continued on. The absence of a Garage out at the construction site made them walk all the way back to town as well. Prior to my next Wind Turbine there I will construct a Garage on quick build to ease this process (the turbines themselves are quite expensive to quick build).

In March I upgraded the second Jewelry Factory to the Finishing Shop modifier. The image above shows the turbine at the dock power sharing with the turbine at the wind farm. I also order the construction of another turbine in town and when it is completed will begin upgrading any housing unit within range to the Climate Control modification.

While I could have chain linked some Electric Substations from the dock to the town, it would have required at least two to cover the whole town (as it presently exists) where an on-the-spot Wind Turbine does the same thing for about the same cost as two substations but also contributes to the overall power availability.


This objective fits perfectly with the crops that I have on the island so I accept it. Although I have the Academy of Science hard at work to reduce the overall costs of blueprints, this objective gives up one set for free. I order the construction of the new factory at the dock alongside the other factories.

In May I decide to change the rent for all of the Bunkhouses that I created to free rent in order to entice some of the population to utilize them.


The decade comes to a close and I have endured one Rebel Attack and the threat of a coup from my own Army, won an election and have turned this dump into a viable money making enterprise. The Almanac shows (in red) where I need to focus my available funds to improve the overall happiness rating of the citizens.

The Second Decade: 1960-1969


When analyzing the situation to determine a possible pay scale adjustment, I reviewed the housing situation. Remember from earlier that a Tropican with a $5 wage can afford to move into housing that charges $1 for rent because it is within 3 times the wage, whereas a rent of $2 would not be possible for a single citizen earning a $5 wage.

I had construction several Bunkhouses for the miners and farmers, however many were not being utilized even though the rent was only $1. In May of the previous year I set the rent to $0 (free housing unit), however I still have some citizens living in a shack literally right next to two Bunkhouses one partially occupied and the other with full vacancies.

In these situations I take out the demolishing tool and raise the shacks.


Currently the Caribbean Pay is $9 and my Average Worker Pay is $7: my citizens compare their wage to that of the Caribbean average, and those with a bigger wage than the regional average will have greater job happiness (even if they are toiling in a sweatshop environment).

With the ability in Tropico 4 to set wages at the job as well as the education level (from what I read this cannot be done with Tropico 5 unfortunately), I institute a minimum wage of $10 by setting the following rate by education level: Uneducated $10, High School $15 and College remains at the current rate of $20. Furthermore I tweak job specific wages that I find are critical to the stability of the government: Soldiers $17 ($2 more than their High School counterparts), Policeman $16 ($1 less than a Soldier and $1 more than their High School counterparts).

With this increase in pay, I adjust some rental fees so as to start making a profit on all housing, not just the finer Apartment Block building by changing the Tenement from $1 to $2. The Bunkhouses are currently left at free rent.

I have no Police at the moment because I have not built any Police Stations yet. The Crime Safety rating is 84% and I only have two criminals on the island. Furthermore with the Threat Level currently low with only two Rebels and no existing coup concern, there is not a pressing need to create a Secret Police unit and begin Wiretapping (all of which lead to decreased Liberty ratings).

In February Comrade Vasquez advises me to issue the Food for the People Edict which allows the consumption of twice the amount of food, which I oblige. I will keep an eye on what is being imported and adjust what the island produces accordingly by adding additional food sources (farms or ranches). During the same month I issue the Literacy Program Edict which allows all workers to gain experience 30% faster (I should have done this as soon as I hired a Minister of Education).


In March I activate the Climate Control and Auto Roller modifications to the Cigar Factory. In May I order the construction of three Coffee Plantations on the upper shelf of the island and space them to allow for a maximum growth footprint. The crops shown on the screen shot are actually eye candy and are not anything that could be harvested. 

Noticing that I am receiving messages about deaths relating to poor healthcare, in August I order the construction of a Hospital and place it in the center of town across the street from the Garage. At this point I also construct a new Bank and set the work mode to Slush Fund, and also construct a Customs Office with the Stimulate Exports work mode at the dock next to the Immigration Office.

During the same month I receive a hint from Sunny Flowers to issue the Pollution Standards Edict, and I oblige.


At the end of the year I receive a notice of a Cathedral Demand from the Religious Faction.

1961

In January I build a new Construction Office as well as a Childhood Museum (to placate the Loyalist Faction somewhat) with the work mode set to Retirement Fund. A Wind Turbine is built behind the Presidency so I can place a Night Club next to the Army Base (the location of the new turbine adds 32MW to the power pool). In June I complete the upgrade to the Presidency by adding the Gardens and Presidente Statues modifications.


The next month I receive a request to export lumber and am offered free blueprints for a Lumber Mill. The lumber industry in Tropico 4 is one of the more involved production cycles as there are a total of three components: a Logging Camp, a Lumber Mill and finally a Furniture Factory. Once I complete this objective, I will be building the factory (and probably demolish the camp and mill so as to import the product for the factory, as the early components are low on the profit margin scale and enrage the Environmentalist Faction). A Garage is also built near the logging structures for the vehicle availability and the two Teamsters stationed there.

In August I receive the first Garage Overloaded message for one of two existing Garages that I currently have. These messages can mean a lot of different things; however a poor overall road network strategy and poor Garage location are chief culprits. While a signal that there is something amiss on the island and an opportunity to improve the transport system overall, they are not typically critical alerts that have to be dealt with immediately (in some games on small islands I had demolished all Garages and everyone just walked to where they were going).


This Assassination Attempt notification bugs me because I think it is just an arbitrary function built in to the game (what tin pot dictator doesn’t have someone wanting to kill them?) and not a true indication that something is amiss as I have played other games where all faction and foreign relations were maximized at 100% and a zero threat level, but would still continue to receive these.


This year draws to a close and the Loyalists Faction is happy with the Childhood Museum, and now I need to set my sights on building a Cathedral to soothe relations with the Religious Faction.

1962


In January I order the construction of a new Apartment Block down by the Dock, and notice that I mismanaged my placement of the logging industry as the Lumber Mill is one tile outside of the range of the wind farm I have near it. This causes me to add another Wind Turbine (which I very may well have done anyway, however I should have been cognizant of the requirements to upgrade the logging structures and the available electrical grid coverage).


A huge early game payday came through at the dock bringing in about $80K from exports, which allows me to construct this Cathedral that I place next to the Army Base (I will also place a new Garage next to it in hopes of improving access). At this point I also quick build several new Bunkhouses near the Coffee Plantations.

With the new Wind Turbine complete, I upgrade the Lumber Mill with the Sawdust Burner modification which reduces pollution by 50% and the Power Saw modification which increases production by 30%.


In my book it does not get much better than this: 100% employment with only 19 positions vacant at the moment, nine homeless compared to eight housing vacancies and my workers Average Pay is $2 above the Caribbean Average of $10. This is not trickle-down economics, but the implementation of middle-out economics: raise your workers’ pay so that they can afford to buy your product (thank you Henry Ford).

Everybody is making money and the pitchforks are reserved for farming instead of the 1%'ers as the Income Disparity is only 70%.

1963


In January Antonio Lopez presents me with an objective to build a Shopping Mall which fits nicely with the wages my workers are earning. I order the construction and set the work mode to Outlet Store also placing a Garage next to it.


When cruising through the Almanac I see that I am on the verge of a Faction Disaster as the Environmentalists rating is at zero. I immediately issue a Bribe to the faction leader (thanks to the Bank that I created earlier) and set out to create a second Garbage Dump, upgrading all of them to the maximum modifications which requires the placement of some additional Wind Turbines. This may be too little too late to prevent a blockade from occurring.


Once those constructions are complete the Island Conditions overlay for Landfill Coverage shows the range of the two existing Garbage Dumps (all maxed out on upgrades).


These efforts help make a sea change in the Environmentalists Faction rating as it has gone from zero all the way up to 65% in one year.

1964


In January I receive notification from UN representative Brunhilde Van Hoof of the upcoming elections: given that there is a happiness rating of 59% I decide to forgo issuing any speech and let the chips fall where they may.


With another huge payday in exports at the Dock, I order the construction of an Oil Refinery on the coastline (all three of my available oil deposits are offshore) and create a road network back to the Dock. I also create a Garage at the Refinery as well as a new Apartment Block back at the Dock.

With the gold deposits down to 5,002 from the original 12,000, I change the two Jewelry Factories to Allow Imports so they can still keep making me a profit long after my organic resources are exhausted.


Seriously? I just built them a Cathedral: the Religious Faction is one of the more problematic to placate as they are always nagging for something. In this case I simply chose to ignore the suggested objective.

Out at the logging area I place several new Bunkhouses on quick build and upgrade the Logging Camp with the Tool Shop modification which allows trees to be cut 60% faster and the Horticultural Shack modification which allows tress to grow back twice as fast.

At the Lumber Mill I purchase the final upgrade, the Log Debarker modification which increases production by 25% but also increase the raw material consumption by 10% (I may need to add a separate yet dedicated Horticultural Station set to Reforestation).


This is one of two Garages that I had at the outset of the game and it has outlived its usefulness. Too close to an intersection, it is creating a bottleneck in the transportation system and will fall victim to the demolishing tool (a replacement Garage is built over by the Bank).


Another victory for El Presidente…


Although I won the election by a landslide, I still need to address some areas of concern for my people: the sole remaining happiness component in the red is Liberty, and I will focus on this over the next couple of years by the construction of Newspapers, Radio Stations and TV Stations which will open up additional edicts.

1965


In January I order the construction of a new TV Station and set the work mode to BBC which increases the Liberty of citizens living in the area. The blueprint cost $4,720 and the structure itself $14,400.

In April I upgrade the Oil Refinery for both the Extra Storage and Wastewater Treatment modifications and build a new Apartment Block there for the current workers and future expansion. In June I build two new Cattle Ranches and upgrade them with the Smoke House modification as the objective is starting to stall (my people are probably eating the product as the population is growing).


In September I am faced with my first environmental random event, a Drought. I opt to set water restrictions and will manually water the fields as this situation develops.


Several things of note here: the population has reached 300 and I am importing Gold, which tells me that the mines are close to exhausting their organic supply (the remaining resource quantity is 4,164). Once these deposits are depleted the mines will be demolished as there are no other mineral deposits near them that they could effectively harvest.

1966


The import of corn tells me that I have a deficiency in my food supply chain and I order the construction of three new Corn Farms and a Horticultural Station set to GMC to maximize production.


In July I build a road network to encircle the agricultural area outside of the town and place a Garage to assist in the transportation of the goods. I increase the maximum import per freighter to $15,000 to allow for additional growth of the economy.


Everybody is happy – for now. The Caribbean Pay has increased to $11 while my Average Pay is $12 (not shown here) so I will need to keep an eye on that for another possible wage increase.

1967


The Export Smoked Beef objective has been stalled for some time, having been started ten years ago in 1957! Since then my population has grown and as shown in this panel from one of the first two Cattle Ranches I constructed they are eating the product. The meals provided are 421 while the output storage is zero. If the addition of the Corn Farms does not shift this, I may need to construct additional Cattle Ranches to fulfill this objective.

In June I receive a notification that starvation claimed seven victims in the previous year. Although I have three new Corn Farms going, I place some additional Marketplaces around population concentrations.


That same month I also order the construction of a second Cigar Factory next to the first one.


In November I notice that the Dock is starting to backup: one freighter is full to the brim and is leaving as another is already approaching, and $161K in exports is at the dock ready to go. I order the construction of a second Dock next to the first one and link the road network.


So far I have not had a need to construct either a Foreign Office or a Police Station, and the two outstanding objectives that I have will placate the Middle East once achieved. China is a bit more fickle of a foreign power to deal with in my opinion.

1968


In March I order the construction of a new TV Station at the Docks set to the work mode Learning with Larry which causes workers in the area to gain experience twice as fast.


In June I order the construction of a Furniture Factory to complete the production cycle of the lumber industry I started with the Logging Camp and the Lumber Mill.


My current Grade School which is set to the Spelling Bee work mode is currently maxed out so I will take one of these freebies now and construct a new facility for the rug rats.


The 48% for the environment can be helped by creating a third Garbage Dump and fully upgrading it, as well as issuing the Anti-Litter Ordinance Edict which requires me to hire a foreign expert to fill the vacant Interior Minister position as I have no Police from which to draw a candidate from. I will put these tasks in motion over the next year to improve this rating.

1969


As soon as the foreign expert arrives to assume the Interior Minister position I issue the Anti-Litter Ordinance Edict as the third Garbage Dump (located between the Docks and the Oil Refinery) is near completion.


There is a gap between the Wind Turbine at the Oil Refinery and the other turbine at the Docks, leaving the Garbage Dump in between the two without electrical grid coverage to be upgraded. Because a new Wind Turbine here would only produce 11MW, I opt to construct a new turbine out at the wind farm where it will add 40MW, and order the construction of the first Electrical Substations to patch the new Garbage Dump to the electrical grid.


The decade draws to a close and the Average Pay is $2 above the Caribbean Pay so I do not feel the need for an increase at this time.

The Third Decade: 1970-1979


I had to order up a second Electrical Substation as the first missed the Garbage Dump by one grid square, and shortly after that I received the first notice of a strike (by the dockworkers). Although I have two Docks and any strike would only impact one of them, for me this purely a matter of economics as I pay the specified amount to quell their unrest.

Much like the assassination attempts, I believe this is an arbitrary function built into the game to throw a curveball. The dockworkers are extremely well paid compared to their Caribbean counterparts and the overall happiness is approaching 70%: there should be no reason for a strike.


In July I order the construction of a Tenement in the center of the main farming area, a new Apartment Block and a Cement Factory at the Docks.


In September I receive notification of another Garage being overloaded, so I build a new road cutting behind the Shopping Mall to relieve the backup down the main road somewhat.


The years ends and I lost some money this time around with the Player and Island Expenses far outpacing the Income, however I am not in panic mode as I know there are a couple of decent paydays sitting at the Docks that I will cash in on when the next shipments of exports leave the island.

1971


In January I order the construction of a Chemical Plant at the Docks and when it is completed I fully upgrade it with the Medicine Production and Nutrient Additives modifications.


I am more concerned about why the Export Beef objective is still stalled and select the Elections without Speech mode here as I did in the last election. Unless this thing goes to hell in a hand basket I may not issue another speech this game (my avatar seems quite content losing money gambling each year anyway).

In March I upgrade the Furniture Factory with the Machining Center and Exhaust Fans modifications (I was stalling on this for a while as I was not sure if I was going to stay in the lumber industry, however two parts of the equation [the mill and the factory] are making more profit than the camp is losing). As the fan mod increases pollution by 50%, I will need to keep an eye on the Environmentalists Faction and build some Gardens if they start to get bent.


In June I make a fundamental shift in my approach to the workforce on the island: I perform final upgrades on those buildings that allow for increased Job Quality and shift the work mode from Sweat Shop to Easy Does It. I was planning on holding this card up my sleeve for an election year promise that I could actually deliver on, but my people are so happy with my rule that I don’t even need to show up for the debates (yet I still get a landslide victory).

I also order the following constructions: some additional Apartment Blocks to address spot shack issues and the completion of a road network circle to the Oil Refinery.

In August I take a serious look at two objectives that have stalled: Export Smoked Beef (253/500) and Increase the export volume to the Middle East (1047/2000). Although I only have one Teamsters Office on the island (the original one), I currently have 20 Teamsters employed in various locations through the Garages I have built.

And although I have five Corn Farms built and four Cattle Ranches (all long ago upgraded to the Smoke House modification), I am constantly importing Corn so this tells me that my people are eating all of the food, including the Smoked Beef that I need to export.

To fix this I order the construction of four additional Cattle Ranches (to also be upgraded) as well as two Banana and two Papaya Farms in order to flood the island with food product. So far I have not had a single building report that the Teamsters were not hauling enough goods, so I am suspecting my hungry citizens are the culprit here.


As the year ends the Almanac tells the tale about the importation of Corn: had I been monitoring this a bit more closely I should have seen that my citizens were consuming the entire food product leaving none for export. Right near the end in December the TV Station was set on fire due to human negligence, so I may need to consider putting a Fire Station in downtown.

1972


I actually forgot there was an election going on…I was too busy running Tropico!


Two things concern me in this screen shot: the available electricity is almost tapped out so I will need to add some more Wind Turbines at the wind farm, and the main road through downtown is no longer sufficient to handle the traffic. While this was OK early game with fewer than 250 citizens, I have let this get out of hand and will need to construct some additional roads on either side to lighten the load.


While reviewing the options for branching out the road network, I notice that one Cigar Factory has not produced anything in the past year. This most likely is from my having two factories and only two Tobacco Plantations. While I could Allow Imports for these structures, I decided to table that for later consideration and construct two additional plantations instead.


In an effort to improve the livelihood of the citizens employed in the industrialized sector down by the Docks, I add a Hospital, a Church, a Pub and a Restaurant.


The year wraps up and the export of Oil Products helps clear one of the objectives, and hopefully with the market being flooded with new food product there will be enough left over to export and clear the other objective still hanging out there.

When cycling through the overlays, I noticed that the Docks has a crime problem, however out of almost 500 citizens I have only four criminals at the moment.

1973


At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign which raises the export price of all factory-processed goods 20% for the next 3 years (as it requires two factories and a TV Station, I should have done this as soon as I had my first station operational). A new Bank is built in the downtown area and set to the Urban Development work mode which provides up to 20% off of the cost of buildings as well as a Stock Exchange which provides various offers from foreign investors.

The road network at the Docks is wrapped back around to allow for greater concentration of industry around the mini entertainment center constructed there for the benefit of the workers. A row of new housing is also added to allow for expansion of the population.

I accept and objective to export weapons, which requires a Weapons Factory and an Iron or Bauxite source, and since I have an untapped Iron deposit on the island with a quantity of 15,000 and a Bauxite deposit with a quantity of 12,000, two new mines are ordered for the construction queue (which is starting to backup with unfinished projects).


In June I receive the first foreign investor offer and I choose to go with the Gourmet Restaurant for the downtown area. For this I will receive a yearly rent of $1,500. In my game play experience these venture capital efforts generally fail and the building collapses in on itself.

If that occurs here I will simply build a new restaurant overtop of the old one. Elsewhere a new Apartment Block is added out by the Oil Refinery.


I always wanted my own TV show.


One of the two Gold Mines that I have on the island which were the backbone of my economy in conjunction with the Jewelry Factory has exhausted the organic resource and is not producing anything. There is still an output storage remaining of 104 so I am wondering if I fired the workers now would the Teamsters still pick it up or if I should just wait for the building to collapse in on itself (this is one of the gray areas of the game for me so I decide to wait for the building to implode).


Once the Weapons Factory is complete I go with the Heavy Machinery upgrade for $10,000 which increases production by 20%. I ignore the other upgrades for the moment as the overall happiness of the people is pretty decent and my foreign relations with the US and the USSR are both at 100% (and I don’t even have a Foreign Office built).

The 80 Free Job Positions with zero unemployment is worrisome as that many open jobs means not everything is running at peak efficiency. To address this I change the Immigration Office work mode to Open Doors.

1974


Are you or your Nationalist Faction skinheads going to work on the plantations and ranches, or haul the output to the Docks to be loaded on the freighters? I think not: shut the hell up punk.


I have eight Cattle Ranches, five Corn Farms, two Banana Farms and two Papaya Farms but with a population of fewer than 500 the Export Beef objective is stilled stalled. Although I have not received any Teamster transportation warnings yet (there are several Garages around the island manned by Teamsters) I decide to construct some Fisherman’s Wharfs.

On the left hand side of the screen shot above there are several shacks that are housing College educated workers from the Oil Refinery who are making $20 and right across the street is an empty Apartment Block with a rent of $3: if they don’t move by the end of the year, I am taking out the demolishing tool and raising some shacks.


One of my two Cigar Factories has not produced anything in over a year. Although I have two Tobacco Plantations running, it is not enough to supply two factories so I Allow Imports for this industry to make up the difference. At this point I set both Docks to unlimited imports.


With three more Tropicans dying I order the construction of a new Hospital.

In November I receive a new foreign investment proposal for a Restaurant and place it near the Oil Refinery where I add to it a new Clinic and Pub.


The year ends and the Almanac paints a grim picture for the Export Beef objective that I want to clear. Setting the Docks to unlimited imports shows just how much food my people are consuming: everything that the island is producing as well as $13K in imported Corn. I am going to have to add several ranches to flood the market with food product and once the objective is clear I will probably remove them if I need the space for other buildings.

1975


A Museum of Modern Art is added next to the Shopping Mall and the work mode is set to Promote Tropican Art so that it can generate some revenue for the space it is taking up.


I receive my first notice that Teamsters are not providing enough transportation of goods from a factory to the Docks. Although I have 68 open jobs at the moment and 100% full employment, apparently the 20 Teamsters I presently have are not enough so I order the construction of three new Teamsters Offices near the Docks. Elsewhere I also order five Smuggler wharfs and quick build several Bunkhouses for these new piers.


As each of the three new Teamsters Offices are completed they immediately fill up with workers.


The year ends and the Almanac reveals discontent among the Nationalist Faction due to low average wages: the Average Pay and the Caribbean Pay are both $13, so I give a $2 raise across the board: Uneducated citizens receive $12, High School educated citizens receive $17 and College educated citizens receive $22 (Soldiers are set at $19 and if I had any Police I would set that at $18).

This newfound wealth needs to be spent somewhere so I increase the rent of the Apartment Blocks to $4 (the Tenements have been at $2 and making thousands in profit whereas the Apartment Blocks were at $3 and barely staying above their upkeep costs), and increase the entry fee for the Shopping Mall from $1 to $3.

1976


At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign which raises the export price of all factory-processed goods 20% for the next 3 years. The Weapons Factory hasn’t generated anything yet even though I have an Iron and Bauxite mine on the island, so I Allow Imports for that industry until those mines start producing.

The Garage at the Docks is causing a major traffic jam so I set it for demolition and relocate it away from an intersection by quick build construction.


Two parts of the complex three part chain that forms the lumber industry are flagging: neither the Lumber Mill nor Furniture Factory have produced anything in the last year. The Logging Camp is operating at a net loss of $5K, the mill is at a net profit of $58K and the factory is at a net profit of $209K. At this point I order the demolition of the camp and mill (which should please Sunny Flowers) and set the factory to Allow Imports.


With this freebie I order it to be constructed at the Docks. Depending how much of the tobacco and fish I am harvesting make it there, I may need to set it to Allow Imports as well.


As I surpass $1M in available Budget, a radio dialog between Sunny Flowers and Penultimo alert me to the fact that I am running out of electricity so I order two new Wind Turbines to be constructed at the windmill farm.


The year ends and I appear to be no closer to exporting Smoked Beef to clear the objective that began back in 1957: in an act of desperation I order two new Teamsters Offices and a Garage to be built near a row of Cattle Ranches located outside of the downtown area.

1977


In January I receive notice that one of the foreign investment buildings (the Gourmet Restaurant) has gone bankrupt so I decide to erect my own to see if I can manage to make some money off of it.


With a low threat level consisting of two Rebels and five Criminals, I am not inclined to give any speech. My Trops love me.


I almost forgot I had an Army. To resolve General Rodriguez’s dilemma, I order the construction of two Guard Stations.


When the last Gold Mine has depleted its organic resource, I order it demolished and replace it with a Christ the Savior Landmark.


I watched this Teamster go to a Cattle Ranch, take the product to the Docks and the Export Beef objective was finally completed. Twenty years and still no camel!!


The year ends and the Almanac display the export of the Smoked Beef which helped secure the objective that I had on the books for two decades. This is most likely my fault for not having enough Teamsters to work all of the service buildings as I was relying on receiving messages that they were not hauling enough as a crutch. Frankly I should have known better than to run all of that time with just one office and several garages.

1978


With the completion of that objective, I order the demolition of all agricultural buildings near the center of town to make way for expansion. With some additional marketplaces in high population density areas and unlimited imports set at the Docks, there should not be a food shortage now that I have enough Teamsters (for the moment) to transport goods.


Like there was any doubt here…I don’t even give speeches anymore.


In May I order a second Weapons Factory to be built as the first one has started to generate a profit. I always use the Assault Rifles work mode.


More arbitrary curve balls thrown my way: I usually fire the offenders and don’t bother rehiring anyone unless I need to issue an Edict or build something that requires a specific Minister.


I still only have two Rebels and five Criminals on the island, so this kind of amuses me however I allow my highly paid Army deal with the situation.


In the last part of the year I order the construction of three new Apartment Blocks, some additional roadway, three new Wind Turbines and a Sports Complex (I changed it from No Booze Allowed to Let the Taps Flow so this may upset the Religious Faction somewhat).


The year ends and the Almanac indicate the Religious Faction rating has plummeted. I will need to construct some new Churches or Cathedrals to appease these people.

1979


A mass of shacks appeared next to the Sports Complex and when I looked at the Almanac it showed that I had 36 unemployed citizens, so to stem this tide I change the work mode of the Immigration Office to Tropico First which ceases all immigration but allows the hiring of foreign experts.

I dip my toes into the Tourism Industry area of the game by ordering the construction of a Tourist Dock. With the addition of some hotels and attractions, I will be able to begin the rounding out of the Tropican Empire I have created.


In May I layout the tourist mecca to be known as EvaLand.


After a quick build orgy (I had the cash) everything is up and running (or waiting for employees) as I change the Blimp Ride to Presidential Presence which gives a service quality boost to whatever buildings the airship flies over.


Some Apartment Blocks have been added in the background to provide housing for the employees working in this new industry, and I add a Marina set to the Charter Fishing work mode.


In December I place an airport along the roadway leading to the Oil Refinery. I forgot to issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict so I will do that at the start of the next year. The Garbage Dump will have some trees and other window dressing placed around it to block it from view somewhat (I know this has no effect in the game however it just looks nicer).


After thirty years of ruling this rock, some progress has been made but more work needs to be done. Having 10 unemployed citizens and 56 free job positions means that I need to open back up immigration and check my High School to see if it is full. There may be an education issue preventing those 10 people from taking jobs.

The Fourth Decade: 1980-1989


At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict. In June I order the construction of a new Oil Refinery to exploit an untapped oil deposit and issue a Lure the Rebels Edict to have the Army deal with the two Rebels that I have on the island (the Army has been inactive for a number of years and could use a workout).


Just prior to Lure the Rebels, I issued the Amnesty Edict first and two Rebels returned to their normal lives (as the happiness level had increased significantly since they became Rebels). However when I issued the lure edict, it said I had two Rebels attacking the existing Oil Refinery. In my book 2+2=4, so I think the Almanac had the count off by two.

At any rate, the two Rebels in the attack were at the Refinery at least until December (the screen shot above) and the Army had not arrived yet. I will need to place a Guard Station near the Oil Refinery to allow for a quicker response. The avatars are young female Rebels, but one is aged in her 60’s and the other in her 50’s.


The year ends and the image behind the Almanac shows what may end up being a very costly mistake on my part: although the Army outnumbered the Rebels 26-2 at the outset, the first Soldier to arrive killed one Rebel and then was killed by the other Rebel. Those Rebels were at the Oil Refinery so long unchecked that the last Rebel had time to start placing the explosives. At the top left corner of the Almanac there is another Soldier sprinting to the area, but this may be too little too late.

Stupid is as stupid does…

1981


Son of a bitch…

The rebuild of the Oil Refinery costs me $28K. Determined to not let this happen again I order the construction of several new Bunkers, hire some additional Generals and issue the Military Modernization Edict.

Any Rebel remaining will pay with their life.


In March the Airport opens and is upgraded with the Control Tower and Enhanced Terminal modifications, and I accept a new objective from Sunny Flowers to build two new Garbage Dumps to help improve the abysmal rating that I now have with the Environmentalists Faction.


I accept this task as I was going to do this anyway at some point and the Loyalist Faction is at 90%.


The year ends and the Almanac reveal the trade situation: my total imports were almost $100K whereas my total exports were almost $1M. My Budget balance is almost $2.5M so over the first few months of the New Year I am going to put in motion several things that will change the face of the island a fair amount.

1982


One of the many changes that I am making (a bit too numerous to spell out even for this blog) is to make a radical alteration to the road network leading to the Docks. The terrain is very uneven and difficult to work with, and many desirable two or even three lane approaches simply would not work because small parts were deemed unsuitable by the game engine. In the end I came up with this three pronged effort that is haphazard at best, but Tropico is not known for providing smooth slopes from the town to a Dock.


The year ends and it is becoming apparent that I need to address the crime issue. The Crime Safety rating is down to 70% and I have seven Criminals on the island now. I will need to build some Police Stations and a Prison to handle what I have for the moment. The Environmentalists Faction is still down because I have so much pending in my construction queue at the moment the builders have not finished the two new Garbage Dumps.

1983


At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict. On checking the Almanac I noted that I have zero unemployed and 52 free job positions, so I change the Immigration Office work mode from Tropico First back to Open Doors.

With the New Year comes new elections for Tropico and as I have been doing in the past, I skip making a speech (even though the happiness rating is dropping).


With a number of construction projects outstanding and ample cash on hand in the Budget, I quick build several Garbage Dumps and Churches in order to appease the dumb masses. Once complete, almost 60 votes immediately swing in my direction.


Another year is in the books and it looks like I am going to win another election. With the ability to maintain a positive cash flow it allows me to do a number of things to make small corrections here and there to improve the island economically as well as esthetically.

1984


Another election victory for El Presidente Eva Peron.


I shift the work mode of the Golden Statue to Rotate Gracefully: with almost 300 hours in this game you would think I would get this right by now (the drape they put over it is stupid).


These are fun environmental disaster events because they deposit a tanker somewhere on the island that I usually leave as a tourist “attraction”.


This dude never gets the memo.


I should build a Weather Station to minimize casualties. The airport was a dirty target as it takes a long time to build/rebuild.


Another year ends and the Almanac reveals a broad picture of what is going on with the island. The Average Pay of my Trops is equal to the Caribbean Pay however I am going to hold off on making a wage adjustment until there is a noticeable drop in the happiness rating.

1985


I hired the most qualified person for the job so STFU already.


Well that was a waste of money: it still looks like a Garbage Dump. I take out the demolishing tool and erase this mess so I can relocate the dump on the other side of the industrial center.


The Condominium farm by the Sports Complex is finally complete and is immediately filled with residents.


I figure this is as good a place as any since a lot of people use the Garages, so I place them next to every Garage on the island.


The year draws to a close and the ratings for Religious and Nationalists are flat: I have Bankers so I could issue a bribe, but the Religious Faction leader is happy. The Nationalists are fairly easy to satisfy by building a Mausoleum.

1986 


El Presidente should have a proper resting place, by a shade tree overlooking the ocean. With one of the few scenic places left on the island, it is all a matter of perspective at this point (as there is a plantation directly behind it).

At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict.


This seemed like a neat idea at first (the employee can make it there), but no tourists visited it so down it goes.


When scouting a location for the Weather Station I came across this much better looking vista on the upper shelf, behind the hustle and bustle of the city. I canceled the construction on the opposite end to move the Mausoleum and will put the Weather Station at the spot I was going to originally use for the burial place.


Show of Force.


In a way I was kind of hoping that a robust economy would take care of the crime problem, but with eight Criminals and no Police, it is time to address this issue as it is affecting the Crime Safety rating. I will order the construction of several Police Stations and a Prison. Once the Prison is full, any remaining Criminals will be executed.


The year ends and the Almanac reveal the ugly underbelly of a larger populace: uneven results. 28 unemployed citizens cannot afford housing so they live in shacks, and those shacks increase crime. The Immigration Office has been set to Open Doors for some time, however I have people who cannot fill the jobs that I have available so I am changing it to Skilled Workers to attract more High School and College educated immigrants.

1987


After setting the Immigration Office to Skilled Workers I hired foreign experts to fill both Rum Distilleries (which cost a chunk of change, the first was at $450 and it scaled upwards). I changed one Grade School that was on the Field Trips work mode to the Spelling Bee mode, and ordered the construction of two new High Schools, one set to Parochial Education and the other to Military Education (the original one is set to General Education).


There is actually a more expensive and immediate solution to this issue which satisfies The Golf Balls Solution achievement, however it is about $50K (and I already have the achievement).


I have nine Criminals and only four slots available at the Prison (staffed by only one person at this point) so I order four arrests and five executions which will be carried out on the streets in front of the population. My current happiness rating is 66% so let’s see where this takes us (most likely increased Rebel activity in which case I will use the Lure the Rebels Edict to have my Army [now standing at six Generals and 48 Soldiers]) to crush them.


The year ends and the merged Almanac panels show the predicament that I am in: the overall happiness rating of 66% is being hamstrung by a Religion Quality of 38%, yet the Religious Faction has a high rating of 90% and the faction leader is happy. This is pretty much a matter of defining terms as it is not an apples to apples comparison, although it may seem illogical that the religious people on the island are happy even though their religious quality sucks

1988



As soon as the New Year starts I take out the demolishing tool and remove two sections of road at the hideous three pronged route to the Docks in an effort to force traffic through the left and right arteries. I also note that the two new High Schools that were built are already at full capacity with students, so that could explain some of the issues I am seeing with the unemployed and job vacancies.


The Hoof Strikes Again.


During the year the fishing dries up at one of the wharfs and I target it for demolition. This is most likely due to the Marina to the right (out of the picture) being set to the Charter Fishing work mode.


The year ends and the unemployment problem is resolved but I have a shortage of workers and a distinct shortage of housing that I am going to need to address (shacks = crime).

1989


Bulletproof.

At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict. A quick check of the Prison shows that I have four Criminals locked up and four available slots before I have to start killing them again, however the Almanac indicates that I have four total Criminals on the island (and they are all locked up) so for now the crime problem has been “arrested”.

:)


In March I spot build some new Apartment Blocks, Garages and Teamsters Offices to fix some localized issues and order the construction of a Nuclear Program (a relatively meaningless waste of cash) so I can watch the eggheads launch rockets at some unknown target.


OK time to get back to running this rock…


The decade draws to a close and the low Religious Faction rating of 20% is more in synchronization with the low Religion Quality of 35%.

The Last Decade: 1990-1999

My goals for the final ten years are pretty straightforward: Increase the happiness rating to 75% by providing full employment and housing for all Tropicans. Let us see how I do…

Number of Citizens – 986
Overall Happiness – 67%
Unemployed – 1
Free Job Positions – 35
Open Housing Family Slots – 11
Homeless – 96
Crime Safety Rating – 83%
Average Pay - $15
Caribbean Pay - $15

With having over $3.5M in available Budget with which to work and a per unit cost of only $2,500 for an Apartment Block, I begin to quick build housing units (quick build doubles the cost per unit to $5,000) in key population density areas that have shacks. I also order the construction of two new Army Bases.


Politics 101: full-scale pandering. Even with the orgy of quick build housing my industry exports are about to put me over $4M.


Oh God no…


In my honest opinion the tornado event is the most overblown and annoying in the entire game. A hurricane is over in a matter of seconds, a tsunami likewise. Volcano eruptions and droughts drag on a bit longer but not for three freaking minutes of real time and five months of game time like these stupid tornado events.


The year ends (with the tornado still destroying my island) and although the Religious Faction went back up to 90%, I am still suffering from low Religion Quality.

1991


60-3? Against my new and improved Tropican Delta Force? I think not foolish Rebels…


During the Tornado Invasion the Rebel Attack was put down. Mother Nature handed me more damage than the hapless Rebels could. Thankfully the entire event was contained to the outer agricultural band of the island and I only lost eight building and four Trops (that loss of avatar life reminds me that I forgot to upgrade the Weather Station).

Nothing another quick build orgy will not fix, however had this happened in the downtown area for that length of time the results could have been devastating.

In April I issue the Sensitivity Training Edict which helps reduce the impact that Police have on overall Liberty.


The year ends and for the first time in quite a while the Caribbean Pay has passed the Average Pay of my citizens so it is time for another income adjustment (which should also improve the Job Quality rating). This time everyone gets a raise (even the top earners as the Income Disparity is 58%).

1992


At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict.

I implement a more tailored pay scale adjustment as follows: Uneducated $15, High School educated $20, College educated $25, Policemen $21, Soldiers $22 and Doctors $27. For the first time (pandering to the Religious Faction) I give a bump to Priests at $21 and Bishops at $26.


In June I issue the Trade Mission (US) Edict and await the random benefit.


It costs $1,000 for the edict and returned $8,000 two months later (not too shabby).


The year ends and I am making progress on the happiness rating as it is up to 72% (mostly due to the pay bump). Other areas I can work on for improvement that I have not addressed in some time are Healthcare (70%), Environment (66%) and Entertainment (74%).

1993


At the beginning of the year I start several projects (some quick built if under $10K): two Hospitals, one Garbage Dump, 11 Gardens, two Night Clubs and one Movie Theater (set to the Pie Jesu Domine work mode to appease the Religious Faction). During this improvement effort The Hoof notifies me of another election.


As this is the last election I will face, I address my citizens.


Nothing to really note here other than I just thought this was a nice looking shot of my industrial/tourism sectors.


The drought disaster sucks mostly because it causes the overall happiness rating to take a hit for several months.

1994


Bulletproof.


The drought ended in May with only one building having been set on fire and a marginal hit to the happiness rating. In June I issue the Trade Mission (USSR) Edict and await the random benefit.


Although the result was less than what the US mission netted, it was still not a bad return on a two month investment of only $1,000.


I will complete the five year plan in four years!


The year ends and I have a final ace up my sleeve to play on the Religious Faction in the next couple of years.

1995


At the outset of the year I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict, and change the work mode of the Customs Office from Stimulate Exports to Customs Duty Evasion.

Hey I am on my way off this rock…


Just another panoramic shot for my gaming ego.


The year draws to a close and I have made improvement on the unemployment and homeless situation with some targeted construction of Teamsters Offices, Garages and Apartment Blocks (it doesn’t make sense to build a factory when the bulk of your unemployed are uneducated adults). For the unemployed and uneducated female citizens I built two more Luxury Hotels where they could be maids (this is not being sexist, but addressing what the game requires).

1996


In January I issue the Tax Cut Edict which costs me $160K but may help with the happiness rating (albeit marginally).


In June with four open Prison slots and seven Criminals, I sweep the streets of the three on the loose.


The year ends with the Religion Quality rating at a disappointing 43%.

1997


Operation Overkill: with three years left I issue the Papal Visit Edict and setup to construct two new Cathedrals on high priority builds (political pandering at its best).


What do I have to do to get a Rebel around here, shoot someone?


Another year in the book and I have to say I am disappointed with the effect of the Papal Visit.

1998


At the beginning of the year I issue the Social Security Edict which should be another bump in the happiness rating, if not put me over the top in terms of my 75% end of game goal set out at the beginning of this decade.


I thought the previous election was my last, but I was wrong: this gives me another opportunity to address the citizens of Tropico and state my case (as if I am worried about losing the election, I just want to get to 75% happiness).


Seems legit…

While Evita is yacking away on the radio, I issue the Industry Ad Campaign Edict and the Tourism Ad Campaign Edict.


Making preparations for the Apocalypse: for now it is set to the Spiritual Leaders mode which raises the respect of the Religious by 20 and increases the faction's membership rate. With the Religious Faction rating at a full 100%, I am probably misinformed here thinking this would have any effect on the Religion Quality rating which is below 50%.


For the remainder of the year I send Eva on a tour of the islands lower grade Churches (the Cathedrals are all rated in the 120’s) in an effort to boost the Service Quality of the underperformers. However traffic has other plans for El Presidente as my mildly adequate road network for a population of 500 becomes a nightmare with a population over 1,000.


Another tsunami event flattens the airport again, and this time I decide to leave it as a heap of rubble (the rebuild cost at this point is $25K) and pocket the $34K in foreign aid. At least this was not another godforsaken tornado.


One more year to go and my fellow Trops have no idea what is coming.


With the year complete I prepare for a final salary adjustment to bring my citizens above the regional average, and make some minor tweaks to try and offset the remaining unemployed and homeless.

1999: The Final Year


In January I implement the following pay scale adjustment as follows: Uneducated $18, High School educated $23, College educated $28, Policemen $25, Soldiers $26 and Doctors $30. For the Religious Faction I set the Priests at $24 and Bishops at $29. I leave the rents and fees alone again to allow for maximum disposable income.

During the same month I build Apartment Blocks on or near most of the remaining eight shacks that I have on the island.


Bulletproof.


In March I issue the Headliner Edict so I have an excuse to take another gratuitous screenshot of my island empire.


In April I issue another Tax Cut Edict (I probably should have issued this before the pay adjustment).


In May I issue the Pan-Caribbean Games Edict.


In June I issue the Geographic TV Special Edict.


In July I change the Nuclear Shelter to Only Presidente mode.


In August I address the dumb masses for the final time. After the speech is over I move Eva to the Nuclear Shelter.


Tell me you saw this coming...


Final Results








Number of Citizens – 1,197
Overall Happiness – 74%
Unemployed – 23
Free Job Positions – 4
Open Housing Family Slots – 98
Homeless – 2
Crime Safety Rating – 89%
Average Pay - $20
Caribbean Pay - $17

Post Mortem

This is my first post regarding this hybrid dictator/construction/management game from Haemimont Games (Bulgaria). Over a year ago a good friend of mine had me try out the demo and I was unimpressed, having forgotten about this series until Tropico 5 was announced for a May release: Steam ran a sale on Tropico 4 and all related DLC as a Collector’s Bundle for $10.00 (it currently goes for $39.99). At that price point with all of that content (the base game and 11 DLC) I simply could not pass up giving the game a second chance.

Now it turns out I cannot stop playing this thing, it is that good.

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